If there’s one thing Austinite’s love, it’s junk.

Go to any of the cities’ numerous arts and crafts festivals throughout the year and you’re bound to meet dozens of artists who have created art out of old junk.

The most famous of these artists is without a doubt Vince Hannemann who created the “Cathedral of Junk.” The cathedral contained over 60 tons of artwork created from old junk and Vince had been adding to it steadily for almost the past 25 years.

Then a couple of years ago, the city of Austin declared the exhibit unsafe. After a long legal battle, Vince began dismantling it. But mounting pressure from the city’s art lovers, made the city reconsider at the last minute. Today, the exhibit is still standing.

And the Cathedral of Junk isn’t the only place that exemplifies Austin’s love affair with junk.

The Spider House, located near the UT campus, is a popular hangout for the university’s students. The coffee house/bar is decorated in shabby-chic junk décor. Visitors frequently describe it as being so “Austin.”

From the mismatched chairs to the junk lying around to the Christmas lights that hang all season, the Spider House is a perfect example of how to make a “junky” place welcoming.

In addition to these two places, Austin has dozens of thrift stores located around the city. Arguably the most famous of these is Buffalo Exchange, which started in Austin but has since spread to half a dozen other cities.

Buffalo Exchange markets to the “green” concerns that many Austin residents have. The store encourages people to sell their old clothes to them instead of throwing them away, thus saving them from the landfills.

The store is remarkable popular among UT students.

These are just a few of our favorite places in Austin that really exemplify the Austin love affair with junk. What are yours?

Tell us in the comments or on our Facebook or Twitter.


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